How Cyber Warfare Can Stop Iran

Written by David Frum on Thursday November 17, 2011

Eli Lake at the Daily Beast posts another of his amazing reports on super-secret spy stuff, this time on Israel's campaign of electronic sabotage of Iran's illicit nuclear program. Watching Eli pile up these scoops is starting to be like watching the New York Yankees pile up World Series titles.

U.S. intelligence assessment this summer, described to The Daily Beast by current and former U.S. intelligence officials, concluded that any Israeli attackon hardened nuclear sites in Iran would go far beyond airstrikes from F-15 and F-16 fighter planes and likely include electronic warfare against Iran’s electric grid, Internet, cellphone network, and emergency frequencies for firemen and police officers.

For example, Israel has developed a weapon capable of mimicking a maintenance cellphone signal that commands a cell network to “sleep,” effectively stopping transmissions, officials confirmed. The Israelis also have jammers capable of creating interference within Iran’s emergency frequencies for first responders.

In a 2007 attack on a suspected nuclear site at al-Kibar, the Syrian military got a taste of this warfare when Israeli planes “spoofed” the country’s air-defense radars, at first making it appear that no jets were in the sky and then in an instant making the radar believe the sky was filled with hundreds of planes.

It's a fascinating story--and a dazzling glimpse of what can be done to protect the region and the world from the Iranian threat. As our friend Andrew Sullivan would say, "Know hope."